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Author Topic: Phoenix Islands: protected area allowances and rules for investigating on site.  (Read 12693 times)

Bob Smith

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I have not found much info on what might be  called rules and regulations for operating and investigation on the islands, and what we  must be adhereing to per the applicable governments. I know it is a coral reef and very fragile. Can someone direct me to a reference or document (not too long) that would explain what the restrictions are?
Bob S.
 
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James G. Stoveken

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This link will take you to a post by Ric that may be helpful to you.  There are also other posts in that thread you may find interesting.
Jim Stoveken
 
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Bob Smith

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Thanks, James, and the thread was very interesting. However, I was looking for something more along the lines of restrictions of specific physical activities as to what could be or could not be done by anyone who would undertake these activities. For instance, can we dig holes in the coral, do we have to put back what we don't use, fill the hole back up, areas to stay away from, do certain trees or vegetation have to be replanted, etc.? Similar to what a mining company would have to do to restore the area and return the over-burden, etc.
Bob S.
 
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Matt Revington

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Has there been any direct reports from Niku since the big typhoon?  How much damage was done?
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Bruce Thomas

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I have not found much info on what might be  called rules and regulations for operating and investigation on the islands, and what we  must be adhereing to per the applicable governments. I know it is a coral reef and very fragile. Can someone direct me to a reference or document (not too long) that would explain what the restrictions are?

A good place for you to start is with a webpage put up by the government of Kiribati concerning the need for a permit that must be obtained by anyone entering the Phoenix Islands Protected Area for any reason.
LTM,

Bruce
TIGHAR #3123R
 
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Bob Smith

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Thanks Bruce, Been there, done that, and info there relates mostly to the legal aspects of getting permission, from Kiribati and TIGHAR. I'll look more. It may be that there aren't many restrictions other than what TIGHAR wants to impose, since the Phoeniix area is relatively new.






Bob S.
 
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Monty Fowler

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*wonders where this entire line of questioning is going*

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Krystal McGinty-Carter

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I'd love to take a tour of the PIPA. I love birds and the PIPA is home to birds that cant be found anywhere else on earth. Not even in zoos. I can see why they are very particular about who can go and for what reason. Tourists are messy. 

-Krystal "Bird Brained" McGinty
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Monty Fowler

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Again, is there a point to this?

Because I'm not seeing one.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Bob Smith

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I beleive I have found most of my answers in reading about NOAA. You can type it into your browser and pick out the topic you want if interested. In visiting any geographic location, especially technically not our own , it's a good idea to take care of it and appreciate it as if it was our own. I'm sure the TIGHAR crew and everybody involved in the search knows the fundamentals  of environmental protection and the basics of preservation. Good stewardship practices of our one-and-only earth will benefit all of us and those to come after us..
Bob S.
 
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Monty Fowler

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I see another funding opportunity here - TIGHAR could launch an Adopt-A-Coconut-Crab project for the duration of Niku VIII. Daily updates! An autographed picture of your favorite crab! Crab races! GoPro crab camera adventures! The list is almost endless.

I nominate Clavicle as the first and possibly most loveable coconut crab on Niku.

LTM, who will now go back to his ordinary life,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP

P.S. There is a Kiribati customs representative along on every TIGHAR expedition. Which TIGHAR pays for. So guys like Clavicle will not be unduly exploited. Or something like that.

Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 01:22:40 PM by Monty Fowler »
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George Lam

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Preservation and environmental protection are important (although mother nature recently took it upon herself to give the South Pacific a good "cleanse").   But this expedition will be a needle in a haystack impact-wise... and I don't think any responsible TIGHAR representative on site will be using Niku as a their own personal dumpster.
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JNev

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Not sure what all Bob Smith had in mind - started as if he wanted to make a point about the potential weaknesses a power like Kiribati may suffer at enforcement, etc. but seems to have ended more on a note of gee, hope you guys don't throw yer empy beer cans on the beach and leave.

I have to say that everything I've seen about TIGHAR's ops out there says she is a model citizen - and yes, pays for the official witness to be present.  Can that perhaps be a fitting epitaph to this inquiry?  Credit where due, and TIGHAR  did her homework and has stuck to the lesson plan on this, good people.  I would swear to that by all I've seen.  The rubbish on Niku's beaches did not come from our intrepid folks.
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 04:08:14 PM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Bob Smith

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I don't feel a need to appologize, nor should anyone! I'm not a tree hugger or an extremist, but I think the idea of preserving, as well we can, all the things that have been given us, is a notable desire, when mixed with a little common sense and reasoning. As many of you on this forum have pointed out to me, a little education and research before charging off into the unknown is the right thing to do and will be appreciated later.  Don't try to find some hidden or offensive gesture on my part.. there is none!
Monty may have  a good idea, though!
Bob S.
 
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Joe Cerniglia

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I have not found much info on what might be  called rules and regulations for operating and investigation on the islands, and what we  must be adhereing to per the applicable governments. I know it is a coral reef and very fragile. Can someone direct me to a reference or document (not too long) that would explain what the restrictions are?

It's worth noting, Bob, and may be lost in the discussion of 'rules' for investigating the islands, that TIGHAR was and has been, while responsibly investigating the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, the prime mover in the chain of events that started the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) and their protected United Nations status.  From an August 27, 2010 email from Ric Gillespie:
----
We chartered Nai'a for the first time in 1997 for the Niku III expedition.  Nai'a owner Rob Barrel was tremendously impressed with the pristine nature of the reef at Niku.  He sang its praises to his friend Greg Stone at Boston's New England Aquarium. The aquarium chartered Nai'a for their own trip to the Phoenix Group and afterward approached the government of Kiribati about setting the islands aside as a protected area - thus was the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) born.  Now PIPA has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the world's largest.
-----
A few days after I received this message, I attended a reception at the New England Aquarium in Boston, in which everyone from the senior management of the Aquarium, to PIPA representatives, to archaeologists who've worked in the area, formally praised TIGHAR's efforts at promoting responsible aviation archaeology in that environment and for getting the word out about the natural beauty of Nikumaroro and its environs.  Ric and TIGHAR don't get enough credit for their efforts in this area and I appreciate your providing an opportunity to right this.

I'll be going to Nikumaroro, God willing and the creek don't rise, in a few weeks to see firsthand, as a tourist, this rare place, departing with the Betchart Expedition.  Even though we as members of this trip will only be visiting Niku for a few days, we have all been given rules to observe by TIGHAR's senior archaeologist, Tom King.  Here are just a few:

Tom writes,
"Niku is part of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). Its environment is fragile and must not be disturbed.  We won't be collecting plants, animals, corals, or any other living thing, and we'll try very hard not to disturb them. We won't be collecting any artifacts from underwater; if we see anything on the reef we'll mark it discreetly, locate it with GPS, and come back for it when we're equipped to do so. On land, any artifacts we find and decide to take back will be managed in accordance with TIGHAR's antiquities management agreement with the government of Kiribati, whose representatives will be aboard. Any artifact removed must be fully recorded as to its location and surroundings. It goes without saying that there can be no souvenir collecting, though in the past we have been permitted to collect shells, sea urchin spines, and other non-living objects in small, controlled quantities.  Personally, I'd like to drag away a few bags of the plastic bottles and other flotsam of the Pacific Gyre that are polluting the beaches; I imagine this will be permissible if we have time and space aboard ship."

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078ECR


« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 04:52:13 PM by Joe Cerniglia »
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